Susan Fleming and Nathan Cook are the latest startup mentors to become Entrepreneurs- In-Residence (EIR) at Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. In their new roles, they will offer regional startups individualized advisement and help develop strategies for growth and securing funding.
Dr. Fleming is an experienced executive, educator, speaker, angel investor, and mom. In the first twelve years of her career, Fleming advanced from an Analyst at Morgan Stanley to Partner at an $1.85 billion private equity fund. During this time, she was struck by the lack of women in leadership positions and decided to take action. She pursued a Ph.D. at Cornell in management, focusing on gender bias in the business world and how to reduce it. Today, she speaks across the U.S. on these issues.
Fleming has served on the board of directors of numerous publicly traded companies, private companies, and non-profits. She also served as a senior lecturer for both Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and Johnson Graduate School of Management, teaching entrepreneurship, finance, women in leadership and negotiations courses, as well as running several business competitions and Cornell’s university-wide minor in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Prior to joining the business world, Fleming obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. As a resident of Ithaca, NY, she is excited to draw on her deep knowledge of entrepreneurship, finance, leadership and culture to help more local startups build effective and inclusive organizations that will drive long-term growth and value creation for their founders, their investors and the community.
“Upstate New York is seeing steady, strong startup growth. Creative, smart founders are tackling important projects and investors are taking notice,” said Fleming. “After spending 10 years helping Cornell student- and alumni-entrepreneurs, I am excited to extend that work to a broader group of startups across the community that I love.”
Cook is an active attorney in the greater Ithaca community, and he represents businesses and individuals in connection with a wide array of complex commercial business and real estate transactions. Cook has also served as a visiting lecturer at the Johnson School at Cornell University where he taught a course focused on entrepreneurship and early-stage finance and venture capital transactions. In addition to practicing law and teaching, Cook serves as mentor for the 76West Clean Energy Competition and a judge for Cornell Law School’s Transactional Lawyering Competition.
Cook started his law practice at Ballard Spahr, LLP, a national law firm with more than 650 attorneys in 15 offices accross the country. He’s also been a member of Fox Rothschild, LLP and served as the president of First Excelsior Group from 2012-2016. Prior to joining Rev, Cook was a member of a local law firm in Ithaca. Throughout his career, Cook has represented a diverse group of clients including publicly-traded corporations, middle market companies, and emerging technology startups. Cook regularly counsels companies on corporate governance, fund raising, M&A transactions, and protection of intellectual property.
Cook has served on the board of directors of several private companies and non-profits. He is currently a trustee of the Paleontological Research Institution, which operates the Museum of the Earth, the Cayuga Nature Center, and Smith Woods, and a member of the board of directors of Upstate Capital, a trade association for venture capitalists and other capital providers across upstate New York.
Cook obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees in music from the University of North Texas and his juris doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law.
“Startup founders are focused on so many things during the early stages—protecting their IP, figuring out how to expand, marketing, customer satisfaction, and hiring,” Cook shared. “Considering legal best practices throughout the process is crucial to success and building a strong platform for the startup to grow. I am eager to help startups learn how to navigate legal issues and keep best practices in mind as they grow and develop.”